Average Size of a US Federal Prison Cell: 8 X 10
Average Size of a US Office Worker’s Cube: 6 X 6
Odd coincidence? Or did you just give up a little prime real estate in exchange for nights and weekends out of the cage? In a world where status is measured in square inches and natural light (would that be prison or the cube farm?), it’s hard to say.
Image Source: Cubicle Playsets
Look at it this way: If you ever completely lose it and “help” your boss find his own personal fast track to the bottom of the staircase, you’ll feel right at home in the big house. Actually, an extended stay in the pen might be worth it if you never have to deal with either of these cube-world hazards again:
- The Adminisphere – That crazy level of upper management responsible for arbitrary, useless, and illogical decisions that only make your life worse.
- Blamestorming – The end-of-failed-project meeting where everyone points the proverbial finger of blame and looks for someone to throw under the bus.
- Assmosis – A state in which brown-nosing and butt-kissing is the ticket to a big promotion and a big raise – instead of actually doing a great job.
To keep your sanity and your limited amount of freedom, add these great cube warfare weapons to your arsenal – your professional life might depend on it!
1. The Ultimate Weapon – The USB Rocket Launcher!
Adding this toy to your desktop takes you from 404 status to alpha geek without passing go. As your fellow cube monkeys begin to prairie dog, fire up the onboard guidance system and let ‘em have it. The range on this baby is 6 meters – or 19 feet for us metrically-challenged Americans. In cubicle land, that’s enough for total domination!
To take full advantage of this weapon, you’ll need a machine that’s running Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or 7. In exchange for a little disc space and CPU cycles, you’ll get a 360-degree rotation and a 45-degree angular motion.
2. The Real Cube-Monkey – Super Simian
Instead of screaming in frustration, let this monkey-powered slingshot do it for you. Slip your fingers in the pockets hidden in his fuzzy little hands, pull back hard, and let Simian fly! If you’ve got just the right touch, he’ll scream in triumph as he soars across the sky above the cube farm before he screams again in despair as he hits the floor – or an irritating unsuspecting coworker!
3. The Rubber-Band Shooting Pen – A Stealthy Weapon
Need an easily concealable weapon to sneak into the boardroom past the prying eyes of that vigilant executive assistant? Then this is your weapon of choice. During the pat down, it’ll look like an ordinary, everyday pen right out of the supply cabinet. Does the executive assistant still look a little suspicious? Whip it out and begin taking notes to throw her off track.
When no one’s looking, load up and let go! Remember to keep an innocent, “who-me?” expression on your face until everyone stops looking around for the culprit. (Actually, on second thought, it’s probably better to use this pen from the safety of your own little bit of office space.)
4. A Throwback from the 70s – The Oh-So-Dangerous NERF Gun
Cost: $6 – $70, depending on your budget and need for firepower
Add a little retro fun to your cube warfare strategy with your choice of these harmless (or are they?) weapons. You won’t hurt a thing – except for someone’s dignity – when you let them have it. Just don’t be surprised when your cute little NERF bullet is shredded into about a million pieces by a coworker having a meltdown.
5. Spitballs – For the Office That’s a Little Bit Like Grade School
Cost: Free to $5
Stop by the cafeteria for a straw and a few napkins for some low-tech fun – although the cleaning crew might not appreciate scrapping wadded paper off the ceilings and cube walls.
Or you can go high-tech and purchase a pack of spit-less spitballs. Although that’s somewhat of an oxymoron, these little gems don’t require even a molecule of anything that could be traced back to you through DNA testing.
6. The Light Saber – Put the Force on Your Side
Cost: $100 – $120
With a light saber in your cube, you can either dream of a “galaxy far, far away” or fight the dark side, depending on how strong your morning coffee happened to be. If nothing else, it’ll make you easy to identify in a world of anonymous cube drones. “Looking for Darth? Yeah – he’s the dweeb over there playing with the light saber.”
7. The Best Weapon of All – Your Imagination
Cost: Time Stolen from Projects Doomed for Failure and Blamestorming Anyway
Benefit: Become a Cube Legend in Your Own Mind
The best type of cube warfare involves the most dangerous weapon of all: your mind. Instead of using an offensive frontal attack, take a page from the Art of War and learn a little patience. Bide your time and strike when your enemy is at his weakest and most vulnerable – when he’s AWOL from cube town.
If you do it right, the other cube monkeys will be chattering about your victory for years, and they will fear your next strike – knowing that it could come at any time, be any one of them, and be totally embarrassing. If the cube environment has sucked the life and creative juices out of your very soul, here are a few ideas to get you in the mood:
Wrap everything in your adversary’s cube with plastic wrap, newspaper, or duct tape.
Replace everything in the cube, right down to the monitor and keyboard, with cardboard and Sharpie replicas.
Seal the cube with clear plastic and yellow caution tape. Fill to the top with shipping peanuts. (You might have to bribe the mail room for this one to work out.)
By lightening the mood, you can make life on the cube farm a little more tolerable – and either stay out of trouble or get yourself into a lot of hot water. As a fair warning, don’t be surprised if your antics move you to the top of someone else’s office hit-list. Just remember – 404 is your story, and you’re sticking to it!